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Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of bestselling novel ‘The Shadow of the Wind,’ dies at 55

Author Carlos Ruiz Zafón in Hamburg, Germany, in 2017 after the publication of "The Labyrinth of the Spirits."
Author Carlos Ruiz Zafón in Hamburg, Germany, in 2017 after the publication of his book “The Labyrinth of the Spirits.”
(Christophe Gateau / Associated Press)

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, author of the bestselling novel “The Shadow of the Wind” and one of the world’s most popular Spanish writers, has died at the age of 55.

His Spanish publisher, Planeta, said in a news release Friday that Zafón died in Los Angeles. It gave no cause of death, but Zafón was known to have cancer.

A tweet from the publisher included a quote from “The Shadow of the Wind,” which earned Zafón international renown: “Every book, every volume you see, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and lived it and dreamed about it.”

Born in Barcelona in 1964, Zafón worked as a publicist before becoming a full-time writer.

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He got noticed in the early 1990s with the publication of the first volume of the “Mist Trilogy,” including “The Prince of Mist,” initially published as a young adult novel.

“The Shadow of the Wind,” a literary thriller from 2001, is the first in his series “The Cemetery of Forgotten Books.”

The novel, set in Barcelona, recounts the hunt for a mysterious author, mingling reality, fantasy and love. It quickly became a worldwide bestseller. “The Angel’s Dream” was another strong seller in the series.

His works have been translated into more than 50 languages, according to Planeta, and have won numerous prizes.


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